Open Apology

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I have always laughed, but felt a tad annoyed, when people would ask me, ‘are ALL those children yours?’ – like having four children made me like the Duggars who have dozens of kids. The jokes of ‘haven’t you worked out how they are made?’ or ‘doesn’t your television work?’ or ‘are you trying to get a whole football team?’ all became old very quickly, so I’m usually sensitive to this with other parents.

However, the other day I bumped into a mother with whom I would sit when my oldest kids were learning to swim. She has a son my eldest daughter’s age, a son my second daughter’s age, a daughter a little younger than my son and the last time I saw her several years ago she had another baby son. So I was surprised when I saw her cradling a newborn baby. ‘Is that yours?’ I asked hesitantly, to which she replied yes. ‘How many kids do you have now?’ I asked insensitively. ‘Oh about fifteen,’ she joked then said this little boy was her fifth child.

‘Wow, a child finishing school and a newborn, that’s amazing,’ I went on, followed by, ‘you’ll probably have grandkids before your youngest kids finish school.’ This sentiment stems from my own thoughts that it is quite possible that my eldest could have a child before we are free from school commitments for our youngest.

After I walked away I was replaying our conversation over in my mind and came to the conclusion that I had acted in the exact way that I had always made a silence pact not to! What I should have said was what a blessing to have such a gorgeous child and what a lovely addition he would make to the family, instead in my shock at seeing this lady with another child I blurted out insensitive comments for which I openly apologise.

I know that when you give birth to any baby, you love them unconditionally and can’t imagine your family without them. This little boy is lucky to have been born into a family where he has many siblings to dote on him. I just don’t envy his mum having to sit through all those swimming lessons again!

(Photo courtesy of papaija2008, freedigitalphotos.net)

WASTED PLACENTAS

I had a bizarre conversation the other day that began with a friend saying ‘Hey, guess what I had on the weekend?’ then followed with ‘my friend’s placenta!’

I know how that sounds as I had visions of a slab of slimy placenta served up on a silver platter, but she went on to explain her friend had her placenta encapsulated (a process where they dry, grind and encapsulate the placenta into handy little tablets). Apparently it assists new mums to avoid postnatal depression, helps with healing after the birth, keeps iron levels high and results in vitality and a sense of well-being. If refrigerated properly, the capsules are said to last a long time and may even help a woman through menopause. My friend had been feeling run-down so her friend suggested she try a placenta capsule. The next day she said she was bursting full of energy and couldn’t believe how good she felt!

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This conversation led me to think about the four wasted placentas I had that were just discarded as medical waste. Based upon my friend’s rave review of placenta capsules, I would have had a lifetime supply of capsules for all my family and friends to feel amazing!

The only other use I have heard of for a placenta was a ceremonial one where a friend of mine stored her placenta in the freezer until her child’s naming day and then planted it under a tree to symbolise that the child can always return home. I really liked the idea of the planting of the tree, but not so much the months of having to push the placenta aside to rummage through the freezer in search of meat for the nightly meal!

 

The idea of using your baby’s placenta may turn your stomach, but it is something that many cultures have promoted for centuries, not to mention animals in the wild do it. Maybe now that you can have your placenta dried and ground in handy capsules, we may see a removal of the stigma attached to consuming this source of rich nutrients.

 

If you used your placenta, I’d love to hear about it. Leave me a comment!

 

 

(Image courtesy of arztsamui, freedigitialphotos.net)